Jimmy GneccoView in iTunes
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Singer and songwriter Jimmy Gnecco first burst onto the music scene as the leader of the group Ours, releasing a handful of critically acclaimed albums before moving on to a solo career. Born in 1973, Gnecco was raised in New Jersey and developed an enthusiasm for music at an early age, particularly classic soul from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and The Jackson Five. As a teenager, Gnecco began taking piano lessons and started writing songs; he also picked up the guitar and started performing with a number of local rock bands. In 1992, Gnecco formed the band Ours; in interviews, he's likened the group to Nine Inch Nails in the sense that he works with other musicians and presents Ours' music in a band format, but he's been the band's creative voice from the beginning. (Gnecco has also cited Nine Inch Nails as a musical influence, as well as Radiohead, U2 and vocalists like Frank Sinatra and k.d. lang.) During Ours' formative days, Gnecco struck up a friendship with Jeff Buckley, and the vocalist would become a major influence and mentor to Gnecco prior to his untimely death. Ours developed a loyal following on the East Coast music scene and several major labels made offers to sign the group; in 1997, Gnecco struck a deal with DreamWorks Records and began work on his first album under the Ours rubric with producer Steve Lillywhite. The process of making the album proved long and complex, and it wasn't until the spring of 2001 that Ours' Distorted Lullabies was finally released; while reviews were strong, sales were disappointing, and a tour of Europe was canceled after September 11, 2001. A second Ours album, Precious, was released in late 2002, but Gnecco was soon at odds with his record label, leaving him in limbo for several years. During the interim, Gnecco sang on a track with Queen guitarist Brian May for the soundtrack of the 2004 film Spider-Man 2, produced an album for the band Neverending White Lights, and continued to perform new songs in concert, which he encouraged fans to record and trade among themselves. DreamWorks Records folded in 2005, and in 2008 the third Ours album finally appeared; produced by Rick Rubin, Mercy (Dancing For The Death Of An Imaginary Enemy) was released through American Recordings. While not abandoning the Ours format, in 2010 Gnecco opted to record a solo album; The Heart was written and produced by Gnecco, and released by the independent Bright Antenna label in the late summer of that year. ~ Mark Deming
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